Kansas State University

Five noteworthy things K-State coach Chris Klieman said at his weekly news conference

Kansas State football coach Chris Klieman held his weekly news conference on Tuesday and talked about a wide range of topics ahead of the Wildcats’ upcoming game against Bowling Green.

Here are the five most noteworthy things he said:

Short-yardage package for John Holcombe?

John Holcombe was K-State’s third-string quarterback on Saturday, but his role within the offense could grow in future weeks.

The redshirt freshman was impressive as a runner in garbage time, amassing 39 rushing yards on three carries. He even broke loose for a gain of 21 yards.

Klieman was impressed. So much so, that he might try and utilize Holcombe’s size (6-foot-4, 249 pounds) and athleticism on a more regular basis as the season progresses.

“He did a really nice job,” Klieman said of Holcombe. “We had a set of plays that we wanted to try and run with him to accentuate his skill set, and I thought he ran really hard. I thought he ran really determined. It’s something that maybe down the line may become part of a package for us.”

Klieman envisions Holcombe leading a wildcat package in short-yard situations.

It’s a fascinating idea. K-State has had success running quarterbacks at the goal line for years, and Holcombe fits that mold.

No redshirts for these freshmen

Jax Dineen and Joshua Youngblood both played throughout K-State’s first game of the season, and that is unlikely to change moving forward.

Klieman said the Wildcats needed Dineen to step up at fullback the moment Adam Harter had a season-ending knee injury during preseason camp. And Youngblood has the talent to help right away at receiver.

Dineen caught one pass for nine yards and had several good blocks against Nicholls. Youngblood didn’t record any stats, but was on the field for long stretches.

As long as both freshmen stay healthy, Klieman says they will play in every game.

Scouting Bowling Green

Klieman admitted he didn’t know much about K-State’s next opponent immediately following the victory over Nicholls.

Gaining knowledge on Bowling Green has been a tedious process, because the Falcons brought in a new coaching staff during the offseason and debuted a new quarterback, Darius Wade, during a 46-3 win over Morgan State last week.

“It’s difficult to say this is what they do,” Klieman said. “There is some carry over from what we have seen from coordinators at other schools. It will be a work in progress.”

So far, though, Klieman is impressed with what he has seen from Bowling Green.

“We have got a Bowling Green team that is coming off a big win and is playing with confidence,” Klieman said. “We have got to have a great game plan throughout the week and be ready for Saturday.”

Strong starts

They didn’t blow him away on Saturday, but after watching replays of the Nicholls game Klieman said he was impressed with a number of unheralded players on the roster.

He had the highest praise for Josh Rivas. The sophomore offensive lineman didn’t start the game, but he provided a much-needed boost when the Wildcats shuffled their front five following an injury to left tackle Scott Frantz.

Rivas looked like he belonged and the Wildcats kept moving the chains until Frantz was able to return.

Klieman said he was also pleased with defensive tackle Jordan Mittie and defensive back Lance Robinson.

Injury update

Junior linebacker Cody Fletcher missed the opener because of an injury to his right foot, but there is a chance he will return to the field this weekend against Bowling Green.

Klieman said he should be ready to practice this week.

Senior defensive back Johnathan Durham missed portions of Saturday’s game because of an injury, but Klieman said he probably will play against the Falcons.

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